4 Seasons in one street artwork!

Hope it Rains | Soineann no Doineann unveils a Galway street mural by Shane O’Malley that is as changeable as the weather

News Release: Thursday January 23, 2020

The Galway 2020 project Hope it Rains | Soineann nó Doineann has today unveiled a street mural with a difference!

Changes, change, by Galway-based artist Shane O’Malley, is an abstract painting whose shape, size, geometric patterns, and colours change in reaction to rainfall. The direction, intensity and amount of rain determine which version of the mural is visible, making it as changeable as the weather.

Ríonach Ní Néill, artistic director and curator of Hope it Rains | Soineann nó Doineann explains why Shane was the first and only choice for this exciting commission:

 “I wanted a work that would reflect the capricious and mercurial nature of Galway’s weather. Shane’s vibrant and optimistic murals stand out against Galway’s grey skies, so it was natural to ask him to create a painting that would duet with the sky and transform in the rain.”

We expect paintings to be static, and the image stable and unchanging. By incorporating hydro-chromic paint into the palette, Shane has created a dynamic and shape-shifting mural. Considering the weather’s variability, there’s no predicting how many versions there eventually could be of the mural – in a day, in a week, in a month. In the words of the poet Bob Blackwell ‘Happens, all the time, changes come then changes, change.’

To achieve the aim of Hope it Rains | Soineann nó Doineann, which is to effect a cultural change in our relationship with weather, Ní Néill is challenging artists to create works that directly interact with and respond to the weather, and use it as a source of creativity.  The project fosters a thoughtful approach which seeks the advantages of our mild, windy and wet weather, all the while building awareness of the need for immediate action to mitigate climate change.

Located on the corner of Church Lane and Shop Street, Changes change is a visual barometer for pedestrians of patterns of rainfall and drought.

Together with the artist and curator, the mural was unveiled by weather presenter Caitlín Nic Aoidh, representing TG4 who are partnering with Hope It Rains | Soineann Nó Doineann.

Helen Marriage, Creative Director, Galway 2020 said; “Galway’s year as European Capital of Culture is a great opportunity to showcase this extraordinary place to a wider audience through the work of an amazing array of local and international artists and producers. The programme has been built around the central themes of landscape, language and migration, and Hope it Rains | Soineann nó Doineann will work with local artists to address a constant of the Galway landscape. We look forward to seeing the project unfold over the coming months.”


Date: Unveiled on January 23, 2020 & visible throughout 2020.

Venue: Gable wall of Flanagan’s totalhealth Pharmacy, junction of Shop St & Church Lane (beside Easons).

Changes, change, a street mural by Shane O’Malley, curated by Ríonach Ní Néill

for Hope It Rains | Soineann nó Doineann.

Hope It Rains | Soineann nó Doineann, created and curated by Ríonach Ní Néill, produced by Ciotóg and Milestone Inventive, commissioned by Galway 2020.



The bold colour and simple geometric patterns of O’Malley’s street art have become part of Galway city’s visual language. Having started out in Ireland’s vibrant graffiti subculture, his large-scale abstract works, inspired by themes of identity, mental and emotional health, journey and self-hood, draw attention to over-looked and often-neglected corners of the urban landscape.


Turning our bad weather to good use, HOPE IT RAINS | SOINEANN NÓ DOINEANN aims to make Galway the place to be because it rains and blows! Using the principles of Play-Change-Exchange, we want to effect a cultural change in our relationship with weather, making it a source of creativity and communality, and Galway’s people and places more weather-proof and climate resilient.

We are inviting Galway people of all ages to join up with experts in art, design, sport, and science and become citizen inventors & makers on our multi-disciplinary projects throughout Galway city and county, on renewable energy, weather-proofing, green infrastructure, outdoor play, health and well-being and our unique heritage.

Conceived and directed by Ríonach Ní Néill, HOPE IT RAINS | SOINEANN NÓ DOINEANN is produced by Ciotóg & Milestone Inventive.

HOPE IT RAINS | SOINEANN NÓ DOINEANNis a proudly bilingual programme.


About Galway 2020 European Capital of Culture

Galway is European Capital of Culture in 2020. As one of the largest cultural events in the world the programme comprises over 1,900 events across 154 projects with local national, European and international artists and cultural organisations. From theatre, music and sport, to poetry, film, visual art and much more Galway 2020 promises to deliver a year of thrilling, life-enhancing experiences through culture and the arts.  The ambitious programme takes place across the villages, towns, islands and the city of Galway, and in recognition of Ireland’s historic traditions, is based around the four fire seasons of Ireland’s ancient Celtic calendar; Imbolc, Bealtaine, Lughnasa and Samhain.